Grinding to Grou

Charmary is moving again …. somehow it feels momentous to be sailing again after nearly three years. Well, I say sailing, we didn’t actually hoist the sails at all, but we did motor 40 miles! We left Enkhuizen at 07.15 and the weather did nothing to match our excitement at being on the water again – the weather was grey and overcast, but we felt the opposite! The wind though, just to spite us, had worked out that we needed to make a course of 060o to get to Lemmer, so it blew in a direction of 055o. With 15 miles to go, we decided that we would just motor through it, but spent the time setting up and testing the autopilot and all the new instruments – all of which worked excellently. The quality of information we now have is much improved and having a chart plotter in the cockpit makes navigation much easier. I may well still go the wrong way at times, I just don’t have a good excuse for that anymore. 

Once at Lemmer we did have to wait for 40 minutes to lock into the Princess Margaret canal, but once through (in the company of two large barges) we had a good run  up through the Sneeker Meer and past Grou with most bridges opening within five minutes or so for us. However, once just beyond Grou, we realised that with around 10 bridges around Leeuwarden and with a rush-hour bridge closure for two hours, there was no way we would make to the moorings in town, so we tied up on the canal-side at 3.45pm in a lovely rural spot. A good day’s progress with a run of 39.6 miles.